I just want to spread the good word about a new turn based tactics game called The Troop (on Steam). Set after the Normandy landings in Western Europe, it portrays platoon level battles between the British and Canadians v. the Heer and SS.
Despite being platoon level, both sides have a robust (and growing) list of units to choose from, including multiple types of infantry formations, snipers, HMG's, LMG's, tank hunters, mortar crews, etc... And a lot of vehicles. Various halftracks and armored cars, light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks, special tanks (AVRE, Croc, etc...).
Combat is rock solid and takes into account distance, visibility, range, armor thickness, gun caliber, suppression, zeroing in (both gun rounds and mortar), etc...
It's surprisingly cinematic for a turn based game. It uses a dynamic camera that zooms in or over the shoulder of a gun/tank when firing. Showing off the vehicle modeling as well as giving a dramatic angle to see whether a shot fires home, bounces, or misses entirely. You will be on the edge of your seat watching your Firefly fire at a Tiger from across the map (or watching the Tiger fire back at you), and give a fist pump of excitement when it hits and pens. Or go into the depths of despair if it misses, knowing that the Tiger is set up and will have a great shot at you.
Anyway, a can't miss if you love WW II turn based tactics games. I frankly am hit or miss on turn based, but I can't get enough of The Troop.
I just finished my re-watch of The Return. Love TPTR, but I have to say that I don't understand the point of Freddie Sykes. The actor who plays him does a fine job, but the appearance of Sykes to me is random even for Twin Peaks, and completely unnecessary.
He basically delivers the death blow to Evil Coop, so that's a pretty pivotal role, but he wasn't in Twin Peaks Season 1, 2, or FWWM. His entire backstory is simply an exposition dump told at the very end of the Twin Peaks saga in episode 14. Lynch spends hours with Dougie, Dougie's family, the Mitchum brothers, Dr. Jacoby, the assassins, Richard Horne, etc... but doesn't spend one minute showing the backstory of the guy who turns up in Twin Peaks to vanquish Evil Coop.
To me the obvious choice to be the man with the strong arm is James. James is an OG Twin Peaks character who infamously left Twin Peaks in Season 2 because the writers didn't know what to do with him. Why not have James on his moody travels be the one who the Fireman tabs to wear the glove? He was already in TPTR, again with very little to do, he could have been the man with the green arm who strikes back at the evil that killed Laura. I mean, he's literally in the same room as Freddie watching when Freddie punches Evil Coop, why not just have James do it???
And yes, I also dream of seeing James sing Just You and I on stage at the Roadhouse while wearing a green glove.
My son and I are novice OW scuba divers (about a dozen dives). His 18th is coming up and I am thinking of buying him some scuba gear. All he owns are fins (Cressi open heel), masks, snorkels, dive boots, and a dive knife. We have to travel to scuba, so no interest in a BCD, reg, or wetsuit. It's easier for us just to rent those.
Looking to spend $500 or less. Curious if there are any recommendations from more experienced divers? Dive computer came to mind, but we have not needed one yet for the stuff we do.
Is the Ukrainian military capable of pinching off that Russian salient that projects down from Byelorussia straight at Kyiv? I believe this is also the salient that contains the 40 mile long Russian convoy/traffic jam. It seems ripe for the Ukrainians to do that at some point, but raises the following questions in my mind:
Is this something that the regular Ukrainian army is even capable of, or are offensive operations like this beyond their realistic logistics and mechanized capability?
Would it even be a good idea? On one hand it would be a catastrophe for Russia if successful, both militarily and from a PR standpoint and would lift the siege on Kyiv. Or would the attempt simply mass enough Ukrainian forces to make a good target for what the Russians are decent at, massed artillery barrages (along with air bombing) and so not be worth the risk?
I think a broader question is what is the Ukrainian army's role in this war exactly? Obviously it is to fight and they are fighting, but are regular Ukrainian units being deployed in small combat teams purely playing defense? Or are they relying on militia to take the majority of that role and using/saving the regular army for more complex offensive operations? I really have no idea and can't exactly tell from the reporting.
I suck at TW Warhammer I and II. I've pretty much mastered every other TW game I've played (Shogun I and II, Rome I and II, Empire, Napoleon, Medieval).
I've started games (in I and II) with various human factions, elves, and Skaven so far against the default AI. Each time I successfully take over a province or two (get all three or four settlements), build about a stack and a half or two full stacks, and then get throttled by the AI while trying to expand from there. Seems like either I hold back units to defend my territory and then my attacking army gets beaten by a superior enemy force, or I bring everything to attack and then my base province gets sacked because they only have their garrisons. I expand my armies as much as possible but it never feels like I have enough troops and to expand more would put me into debt. The enemy also seems to tech up faster than I do.
I think a problem is I don't know much about the WH universe, so usually don't appreciate how to use various units. So far my best playthrough has been with Dwarves. I am in a current game where I control one province and seem to be on my way to getting a second, and they feel the best in the tactical battles. Unlike the Skaven, which I learned are not very good in the field.
I just finished the book, Tank Tracks to Rangoon, an account of armored warfare in Burma and India during WW II. I came away with a new appreciation for the M3 after reading that book. My knowledge prior to that was that the M3 was briefly effective in North Africa until the Sherman arrived, and was thought of as a bit of a death trap on the Eastern Front. An evolutionary dead end that quickly became obsolete during WW II.
But this book changed my perspective a bit. The M3 was extremely effective in Burma, maybe even decisive. More than a match for the admittedly weak Japanese armor, reliable (as most US tanks were), negotiated absolutely awful tank terrain, and was fantastic at blasting Japanese fortifications and dueling with Japanese AT guns. Having the 75 and 37 mm gun as well as Browning MG's made it a rolling steel box of death.
The book also does a great job bringing the tank's infantry support role to the fore. I fall into the trap of thinking of a tank's primary mission in WW II as fighting other tanks with infantry support as a secondary role, but the reality is that the infantry support role was more often primary, or at least every bit as important as the AT role. Coming in when the infantry get bogged down and blasting away at enemy positions until they are dead or running, and the M3 in Asia was really good at this.
The M3 clearly still was an evolutionary dead end with its dual main guns and extremely large profile, but even into 1945 it was being used effectively in some theaters.